Ha. That title kinda makes me giggle.
A friend of mine (Nicole, over at Pure Geekery) wrote an insightful response to a post that you’ve undoubtedly seen plastered all over the internets last week, which also doubled as a response to this one over on HuffPost. EDIT: and then the other half of Pure Geekery, Claire, posted HER thoughts, regarding her divorce.
I wasn’t originally going to give my thoughts on the matter, but because of my past, I feel like I have a lot to offer on the topic, so let’s get right to it.
This isn’t my first rodeo. Hell, it’s not even my second. Yes folks, that’s right, YOU CAN COUNT. This is my third marriage.
If you had told me, when I met my would-be first husband at 14 years old, that we would date for 4 years and be married for 5 months, I probably would have laughed and called bullshit. I was young, and so in love. Or so I thought. Around my senior year of high school, I realized that this relationship I was in was no longer for me, but more for him. So I did some stupid and selfish things (cheating), called things off, begged for forgiveness and went back to playing “the dutiful fiancée” and later “dutiful wife” to a manipulative, immature, emotionally abusive Mormon guy with some serious family issues and emotional baggage. Five months into our marriage, I called it quits. Not because I was bored, not because I had fallen for someone else, but because it was the right thing to do. Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed? If things had worked out, we would have been together for almost 12 years, and married for a little more than 8 years. But I wasn’t in love with him anymore. I don’t know if I ever really *was* in love with him. Maybe it was the idea of him. I really don’t know. I do know that my high school years were pretty bad, and even though I know that most people say you should regret nothing because it shapes you as a person, well, bullshit on that. I might have done a lot better in school if #1 hadn’t taken up residence in our home six months into our relationship because his dad was an overbearing asshole that just wanted me to pop out kids. Oh that last part…well that’s a story for another time. #1 timeline: started dating 6/11/01, married 8/15/05, divorce papers filed 1/26/06, divorce final 4/25/06.
Before my divorce from #1 was finalized, I met #2. I like to call marriage #2 “the rebound marriage”. We moved in with each other after a couple weeks (we were pressured into it by his father), had a lot of sex (yeah I am not proud of that), and decided to elope up in Vegas a couple weeks after Divorce #1 was final. I think part of this was the high of being out on my own, plus the idea of having a semi-decent guy in love with me. Things began to go south when I got sick (sick as in, my thyroid tried to kill me), and I turned into a different person when properly medicated. When not properly medicated, I went down the same dark road as I did with #1 – more stupidity, drunkeness, cheating, begging for forgiveness, fits of violent rage, and ultimately hospitalization. I will give one point to #2 though in his favor. The entire two months that I was in and out of the hospital, he never left my side (with the exception of one time he pretty much dropped me off at the ER and left because he didn’t realize how serious it was). We were pretty much over mid 2007 though, and I sent him packing, filing the papers along with it. I’m not saying I didn’t try. It was pretty hard to try though, when it comes down to it. Call me young and naive, but I did try and give him another chance later that year because I missed the stability. That only lasted a couple months though, and papers were filed again. #2 timeline: started dating 2/16/06, married 5/11/06, divorce papers filed the first time 6/1/07, divorce papers filed the second time 5/11/08, divorce final 7/3/08.
When I met DH, or for the sake of this post, #3, I was in Indiana visiting a friend for her birthday from Arizona. And actually, #3 and I didn’t technically meet at that time. I was on Myspace, just randomly browsing profiles, and I happened upon his baron wasteland of a profile (I mean, come on, it had almost nothing on it), and something about it made me want to send him a message. And it’s funny, because as the story goes, the subject line of the message was “DON’T DELETE THIS, I AM NOT A WHORE BOT”. He happened to login to Myspace that night and we chatted online for who knows how many hours. But the next day I was flying back to Phoenix, and I truly thought I was leaving a piece of me in Indiana. So a month later, I went back out to Indiana after hundreds of chats and phone calls, just to see if this was as real as I had hoped and thought. And the rest, as they say, is history. #3 timeline: met online 4/8/08, met in person 5/18/08, engaged 9/26/09, married 12/4/09. NO DIVORCE HERE.
When I look at my relationship and subsequent marriage to #3, it’s been everything but typical. From meeting online, to having an LDR, to moving across the country to be with him, to going to the courthouse to get married, to finally moving back to PHL and buying our first home. We were not best friends when we met. Hell, we probably weren’t best friends when we entertained the idea of getting married. However, we’ve shared laughs and tears, heartache and frustration, anger and depression. We’ve shared our deepest darkest secrets. We’ve shared our fears. We’ve been each other’s crying shoulder. We’ve been each other’s sunshine. We’ve been to the moon and back for each other. Basically, we’ve been everything that best friends should be. So what if we weren’t best friends when we met? Throughout the course of our entire relationship, we became best friends. Now that’s not to say I don’t have BFFs outside of #3. There’s only so many things I can do with my female BFFs, ya know? And when #3 pisses me the fuck off so much and all I want to do is introduce his face to my fist, I need my BFFs to call me down off the ledge of homicidal rage.
As far as family goes…well, it’s me, #3, and our four cats. Our cats are our children. That’s not to say I don’t want kids. I do, believe me. However, I look at my friends with kids and say to myself, yeah I can wait. Besides, we can go to Disney World all we want right now because we don’t have children. Sure, I get baby fever every time I hear that one of my friends is pregnant (BFF, you know who you are), but I want to be married for a while. I want to make sure that #3 and I are ready first. I don’t want to bring a child into a world in which I cannot devote my time to them and provide for them. I mean, if we get pregnant, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now though, we are perfectly okay with furry children that clean themselves, and prefer litter boxes to dirty diapers.
So, to Seth, I am glad you were able to marry your oppositely-gendered bestie. I tried that, good times were NOT had by all, and it was a bad choice (like the milk). It may have taken me three tries to get to your level of happiness and marriage fulfillment, but in doing so, I found my soul mate. My rock. My lover. My best friend.
And I wouldn’t change a thing.